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Chorus of Mortals.
Then to Jehovah raise
Who die in the Lord!
spread, A Mortal (offering her infant to Japhet). Yet, as His word, Ob let this child embark!
Be the decree adored!
He gave me life, He taketh but
The breath which is His own :
Nor longer this weak voice before His What hath he done
throne My unwean'd son
Be heard in supplicating tone, To move Jehovah's wrath or scorn!
Still blessed be the Lord, What is there in this milk of mine, that Death
For what is past,
For that which is:
For all are His,
From first to lastSave him, thou seed of Seth!
Time-space-eternity-life-deathOr cursed be- with Him who made
The vast known and immeasurable anThee and thy race,for which we are betray'd !
known. Japhet. Peace! 'tis no hour for curses, He made, and can unmake ; but for prayer!
And shall I, for a little gasp of breath,
Blaspheme and groan ?
No; let me die, as I have lived, in faith,
Nor quiver, though the universe may quake!
Chorus of Mortals.
Where shall we fly?
Not to the mountains high ; bend
For now their torrents rush with double roar, And burst,
To meet the ocean, which, advancing still, And gushing oceans every barrier rend,
Already grasps each drowning hill,
Nor leaves an unsearch'd cave.
Enter a Woman.
Our valley is no more: Why should our hymn be raised, our knees My father and my father's tent, be bent
My brethren and my brethren’s herds, Before the implacable Omnipotent, The pleasant trees that o'er our noonday bent Since we must fall the same ?
And sent forth evening-songs from sweetest If He hath made earth, let it be His shame, birds, To make a world for torture:-Lo! they The little rivulet which freshen'd all come,
Our pastures green, The loathsome waters in their rage!
No more are to be seen. And with their roar make wholesome Nature When to the mountain-cliff I climb'd this dumb!
morn, The forest's trees (coeval with the hour I turn'd to bless the spot, When Paradise upsprung,
And not a leaf appear'd about to fall;Ere Eve gave Adam knowledge for her And now they are not! dower,
Why was I born?
So massy, vast, yet green in their old age, And happier in that doom,
Than to behold the universal tomb
Am thus condemn'd to weep above in vain: Vainly we look up to the lowering skies— Why, when all perish, why must I remain? They meet the seas,
[The Waters rise: Men fly in every direcAnd shut out God from our beseeching eyes. tion; many are overtaken by the waves;
Fly, son of Noah, Sly, and take thine ease the Chorus of Mortals disperses in searck In thine allotted Ocean-tent;
of safety up the Mountains; JAPNsT reAnd view, all floating o'er the Element, mains upon a rock, while the Ark floats The corpscs of the world of thy young days : towards him in the distance.
THE TWO FOSCARI,
AN HISTORICAL TRAGEDY.
The father softens, but the governor 's resolved.
Scene- the Ducal Palace, Venice. Other Senators, the Council of Ten, Guards,
Barb. Yet pause—the number of our
colleagues is not SCENE I.-Hall in the Ducal Palace. Complete yet; two are wanting ere we can Enter LOREDANO and BARBARIGO, mecting.
Lored. And the chief judge, the Doge? Loredano. WHERE is the prisoner? Barb. No-he Barbarigo. Reposing from
With more than Roman fortitude is ever The question.
First at the board in this unhappy process Lored. The hour's past-fix'd yesterday Against his last and only son. For the resumption of his trial.- Let us Lored. True-trueRejoin our colleagues in the council, and His last. Urge his recal.
Barb. Will nothing move you? Barb. Nay, let him profit by
Lored. Feels he, think you ? A few brief minutes for his tortured limbs; Barb. He shows is not. He was o'erwrought by the question Lored. I have mark'd that – the wretch ! yesterday,
Barb. But yesterday, I hear, on his return And may die under it if now repeated. To the ducal chambers, as he pass’d the Lored. Well ?
threshold Barb. I yield not to you in love of The old man fainted. justice,
Lored. It begins to work, then. Or hate of the ambitious Foscari,
Barb. The work is half your own. Father and son, and all their noxious race; Lored. And should be all mine But the poor wretch has suffer'd beyond My father and my uncle are no more. nature's
Barb. I have read their epitaph, which Most stoical endurance.
says they died Lored. Without owning
By poison. His crime.
Lored. When the Doge declared that he Barb. Perhaps without committing any. Should never deem himself a sovereign till But he avow'd the letter to the Duke The death of Peter Loredano, both of Milan, and his sufferings half atone for The brothers sickend shortly: - he is Such weakness.
sovereign. Lored. We shall see.
Barb. A wretched one. Barb. You, Loredano,
Lored. What should they be who make Pursue hereditary hate too far.
Orphans ? Lored. How far ?
Barb. But did the Doge make you so ? Barb. To extermination.
Lored. Yes. Lored. When they are
Barb. What solid proofs ? Extinct, you may say this.-Let's in to Lored. When princes set themselves council.
To work in secret, proofs and process are
Alike made difficult; but I have such Barb. To balance such a foe, 11 such
Barb. But you will move by law? Thy father sits amongst thy judges.
J. Foscari. True,
He judges. Barb. They are such in this
Barb. Then deem not the laws too harsh Our state as render retribution easier Which yield so much indulgence to a sire Than 'mongst remoter nations. Is it true As to allow his voice in such high matter 'That you have written in your books of As the state's safety
J. Foscari. And his son's. I'm faint; (The wealthy practise of our highest Let me approach, I pray you, for a breath nobles),
Of air, yon window which o'erlooks the “Doge Foscari, my debtor for the deaths
waters. Of Marco and Pietro Loredano, My sire and uncle ?"
Enter an Officer, who whispers BARBARIGO Lored. It is written thus.
Barb. (to the Guard) Let him approach. Barb. And will you leave it unerased ? I must not speak with him Lored. Till balanced.
Further than thus; I have transgressid my Barb. And how?
in their way to "the Hall of the Within the Council-Chamber.
[Erit Barbarigo. Lored. You see the number is complete. (Guard conducting Jacopo Foscari to Follow me.
the window. Barb. (solus). Follow thee! I have fol Guard. There, sir, 'tis low'd long
Open-How feel you? Thy path of desolation, as the wave J. Foscari. Like a boy-Oh Venice ! Sweeps after that before it, alike whelming Guard. And your limbs ? The wreck that creaks to the wild winds, J. Foscari. Limbs! how often have they and wretch
borne me Who shrieks within its riven ribs, as gush Bounding o'er yon blue tide, as I bare The waters through them: but this son and
The gondola along in childish race, Might move the elements to pause, and yet And, masqued as a young gondolier, amidst Must I on hardily like them-Oh! would My gay competitors, noble as I, I could as blindly and remorselessly! Raced for our pleasure in the pride of Lo, where he comes !-Be still, my heart! strength, they are
While the fair
populaceofcrowding beauties, Thy foes,must be thy victims:wilt thon beat Plebeian as patrician, cheer'd us on For those who almost broke thee?
With dazzling smiles, and wishes audible,
And waving kerchiefs, and applauding hands, Enter Guards, with young FOSCARI AS
Even to the goal!-How many a time hare I prisoner.
Cloven with arm still lustier, breast more Guard. Let him rest.
daring, Signor, take time.
The wave all roughen'd; with a swimmer's J. Foscari. I thank thee,friend, I'm feeble;
stroke But thou mayst stand reproved.
Flinging the billows back from my drench'd Guard. I'll stand the hazard.
hair, J. Foscari. That's kind :- I meet some And laughing from my lip the audacious pity, but no mercy ;
brine, This is the first.
Which kiss'd it like a wine-cup, rising o'er Guard. And might be last, did they The waves as they arose, and pronder still Who rule behold us.
The loftier they uplifted me; and oft, Barb. (advancing to the guard) There In wantonness of spirit, plunging down is one who does :
Into their green and glassy gulfs,and making Yet fear not; I will neither be thy judge My way to shells and sea-weed, all unseen Nor thy accuser; though the hour is past, By those above, till they wax'd fearful; then Wait their last summons - I am of“the Ten,” Returning with my grasp full of such tokens And waiting for that summons sanction you As show'd that I had search'd the deep : Even by my presence: when the last call exulting, sounds,
With a far-dashing stroke, and drawing deep We'll
in together. Look well to the prisoner! The long-suspended breath, again I spurn'd J. Foscari. What voice is that? — 'tis The foam which broke around me, and Barbarigo's! Ah!
pursued Our house's foe, and one of my few judges. My track like a sea-bird.—1 was a boy then.
Guard. Be a man now: there never was | And the cold drops strain through my brow more need
as if Of manhovd's strength.
But onward-1 have borne it-I can bear it... J. Foscari (looking from the lattice). My How looks my father ? beautiful, my own,
Officer. With his wonted aspect. My only Venice- this is breath! Thy breeze, J. Foscari. So does the earth, and sky, Thine Adrian sea-breeze, how it fans my face!
the blue of ocean, Thy very winds feel native to my veins, The brightness of our city, and her domes, And cool them into calmness! How anlike The mirth of her Piazza - even now The hot gales of the horrid Cyclades, Its merry hum of nations pierces here, Which howl'd about my Candiote dungeon, Even here, into these chambers of the and
unknown Made my heart sick.
Who govern, and tho unknown and the Guard. I see the colour comes
unnumber'd Back to your cheek: Heaven send you Judged and destroy'd in silence,-all things
strength to bear What more may be imposed !- I dread to The self-same aspect, to my very sire! think on't.
Nothing can sympathize with Foscari, J. Foscari. They will not banish me Not even a Foscari.-Sir, I attend you. again?-No-no,
[Exeunt Jacopo Foscari, Officer, etc. Let them wring on; I am strong yet. Guard. Confess,
Enter MEMMO and another Senator, And the rack will be spared you.
Memmo. He's gone—we are too late:-J. Foscari. I confess'd
think you the Ten Once-twice before: both times they exiled Will sit for any length of time to-day?
Senator. They say the prisoner is most Guard. And the third time will slay you. obdurate, J. Foscari. Let them do so,
Persisting in his first avowal ; but So I be buried in my birth - place; better More I know not. Bo ashes here than aught that lives else Memmo. And that is much; the secrets where.
Of yon terrific chamber are as hidden Guard. And can you so much love the From us, the premier nobles of the state, soil which hates you ?
As from the people. J. Foscari. The soil! - Oh no, it is the Senator. Save the wonted rumours, seed of the soil
Which (like the tales of spectres that are rife Which persecutes me; but my native earth Near ruin'd buildings) never have been Will take me as a mother to her arms.
proved, I ask no more than a Venetian grave, Nor wholly disbelieved: men know as little A dungeon, what they will, so it be here. Of the state's real acts as of the grave's
Memmo. But with length of time
We gain a step in knowledge, and I look Guard. Signor, you hear the order. Forward to be one of the decemvirs. J. Foscari. Ay, I am used to such a Senator. Or Doge? summons ; 'tis
Memmo. Why, no, not if I can avoid it. The third time they have tortured me: Senator. 'Tis the first station of the state,
then lend me Thine arm.
[To the Guard. Be lawfully desired, and lawfully Officer. Take mine, sir; 'tis my duty to Attain'd by noble aspirants. Be nearest to your person.
Memmo. To such J. Foscari. You - you are he
I leave it; though born noble, my ambition Who yesterday presided o'er my pangs
Is limited : I'd rather be an unit Away!- I'll walk alone.
Of an united and imperial Ten, Officer. As you please, signor ; Than shine a lonely, though a gilded, The sentence was not of my signing, but cipher.I dared not disobey the Council when Whom have we here? the wife of Foscari? TheyJ. Foscari. Bade thee stretch me on their
Enter Marina with a female Attendant. horrid engine.
Marina. What, no one? I am wrong, I pray thee touch me not-that is, just now;
there still are two; The time will come they will renew that But they are senators. order,
Memmo. Most noble lady, But keep off from me till 'tis issued. As Command us. I look upon thy hands iny curdling limbs Marina. I command !-Alas! my life Quiver with the anticipated wrenching, Has been one long entreaty, and a vain one.
Memmo. I understand thee, but I must, To love; but-no_no_no_it must have been not answer.
A fearful pang which wrung a groan from Marina ( fiercely). Trae_none dare answer
him. here save on the rack,
Senator. And feeling for thy husband's Or question save those
wrongs, wouldst thou Memmo (interrupting her). High-born Have him bear more than mortal pain, in dame! bethink thee
silence ? Where thou now art.
Marina. We all must bear tortures. I Marina. Where I now am !-It was
have not My husband's father's palace.
Lest barren the great house of Foscari, Memmo. The Duke's palace.
Though they sweep both the Doge and son Marina. And his son's prison ;-true, I
from life; have not forgot it;
I have endured as much in giving life And if there were no other nearer, bitterer To those who will succeed them as they can Remembrances, would thank the illustrious In leaving it: but mine were joyful pangs; Memmo
And yet they wrung me till I could have For pointing out the pleasures of the place. shriek'd, Memmo. Be calm !
But did not, for my hope was to bring forth Marina (looking up towards heaven). I Heroes, and would not welcome them with am; but oh, thou eternal God!
tears. Canst thou continue so, with such a world ? Memmo. All's silent now. Memmo. Thy husband yet may be ab Marina. Perhaps all's over, but solved.
I will not deem it: he hath nerved himself, Marina. He is,
And now defies them. In heaven. I pray you signor senator,
Enter an Officer hastily. Speak not of that; you are a man of office, So is the Doge: he has a son at stake, Memmo. How now, friend, what seek you? Now, at this moment, and I have a husband, Officer. A leech. The prisoner has fainted. Or had : they are there within, or were at
[Erit Officer. least
Memmo. Lady, An hour since, face to face, as judge and 'Twere better to retire. culprit :
Senator (offering to assist her). I pray Will he condemn him?
thee do so. Memmo. I trust, not
Marina ON! I will tend him. Marina. But if
Memmo. You! Remember, lady! He does not, there are those will sentence Ingress is given to none within those both.
chambers, Memmo. They can.
Except the Ten, and their familiars. Marina. And with them power and will Marina. Well,
I know that none who enter there return In wickedness:-my husband is lost! As they have enter’d-many never; but Memmo. Not so;
They shall not balk my entrance. Justice is judge in Venice.
Memmo. Alas! this Marina. If it were so
Is but to expose yourself to harsh repulse, There now wonld be no Venice. But let it | And worse suspense. Live on, so the good die not, till the hour Marina. Who shall oppose me ? Of nature's summons; but the Ten's is Memmo. They quicker,
Whosc duty 'tis to do so. And we must wait on't. Ah! a voice of wail! Marina. ''Tis their duty
[A faint cry within. To trample on all human feelings, all Senator. Hark!
Ties which bind man to man, to emulate Memmo. Twas a cry of
The fiends, who willone day requite them in Marina. No, no; not my husband's Variety of torturing ! Yet I'll pass. Not Foscari's.
Memmo. It is impossible. Memmo. The voice was
Marina. That shall be tried. Marina. Not his : no.
Despair defies even despotism : there is He shriek! No; that should be his father's That in my heart would make its way part,
through hosts Not his - not his-he'll die in silence. With levellid spears; and think you a few
[A faint groan again within. jailors Memmo. What!
Shall put me from my path? Give me, Again?
Marina. His voice! it seem'd so: I will not This is the Doge's palace; I am wise Believe it. Should he shrink, I cannot of the Duke's son, the innocent Duke's son,
And they shall hear this!